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*** its been brought to my attention that some of the embedded movies are not downloading when opening this blog. There are literally hundreds of embed movies and they are there, So please reload the blog and you will find your movie or picture that did not load, Contact the Fallout Shelter Warden @ firstname.lastname@example.org we are still down here waiting and since TRUMP became POTUS it won't be long....THE LAYOUT OF THIS BLOG IS ODD , PUNCUATION AND SPELLING HAVE SUFFERED AS MOST OF THIS BLOG WAS DONE ON A TABLET AND CELL PHONE, YOU CAN BE AN ELITIST AND SAY ITS THE WORK OF A CHILD OR YOU CAN ENJOY IT. THE VARIOUS POSTS YOU WILL SEE ARE SEMI PERMANENT, MOSTLY THE FILMS,THE MONTHLY POSTINGS ARE LOCATED MID WAY DOWN AS YOU SCROLL TOWARDS THE BOTTOM, USE THE DIRECTORY OF POSTS TO FIND A PARTICULAR POST AND IT WILL BE FOUND MIDWAY DOWN AS YOU SCROLL DOWN TOWARDS THE PERMANENT DECLASSIFIED ATOMIC FILM COLLECTION. IT IS A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO NAVIGATE BUT THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF POSTS ON LOCAL NEW YORK / LONG ISLAND ATOMIC HISTORY LOTS OF ATOMIC AGE ART AND PROPAGANDA, NEVER SEEN ATOMIC KITSCH AND MORE! BE PATIENT, USE THE POST DIRECTORY, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM TO SEE IT ALL AND YOU WILL BE REWARDED WITH A TRIP UNDERGROUND IN FALLOUT SHELTER NYC , AND PLEASE FEEL FREE TO LEAVE COMMENTS, ENJOY, SHELTER WARDEN0910
FALLOUT SHELTER NYC TABLE OF CONTENTS-CHECK OLD POSTS FOR EXCELLENT IMAGES AND NEVER SEEN ATOMICA!!
- ► 2016 (17)
- ▼ April 2014 (5)
- ► 2012 (7)
- ► 2011 (109)
Wednesday, April 30, 2014
LIFE IN A COMMUNITY SHELTER DURING A ATOMIC ATTACK
A GREAT STORY ALMOST MADE FOR TELEVISION SHOWING THE POSSIBILITY THAT FALLOUT SHELTERS IN YOUR COMMUNITY AT ONE TIME WERE MAINTAINED AND READY TO OCCUPY. I CAN NOT IMAGINE THE LOCAL SHELTER NEARBY THAT WAS IN THE BANK VAULT HAD A GENERATOR AND A SUPPLY OF CANNED FOOD TO SUPPLEMENT THE CIVIL DEFENSE BISCUIT AND WATER DIET. THE STORY IS A GOVERNMENT PROPAGANDA PIECE USING A YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL GIRL THAT KEEPS A JOURNAL AND ACTS AS THE SHELTERS DOCTOR. THE CAST OF CHARACTERS INCLUDES A TOKEN AFRICAN AMERICAN AND REALLY TRIES TO COME ACROSS AS HIP EVEN DOWN TO THE END WHERE THE DRUNK DRIFTER WHO IS A FOLK STAR PLAYS A HOMEMADE GUITAR AND ENTERTAINS THE SHELTER WITH A FOLK SONG ON THEIR SEVENTH DAY IN CAPTIVITY.THE SHELTER RESIDENTS ENDURE THE NEWS OF ENEMY ATOMIC BOMBS VAPORIZING THE LOCAL TOWN THAT SUPPLIED POWER AND THE TOWN WHERE THE YOUNG GIRLS FATHER A DOCTOR WORKED AT THE HOSPITAL THERE.WHILE THE BOMBS ARE DROPPING THE SHELTER RESIDENTS DRINK ALOT OF ORANGE DRINK AND WHEN NEWS COMES FROM THE GOVERNMENT IT COMES FROM THE STATE GOVENOR WHO GETS CUT OFF BEFORE HE CAN SAY ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE COUNTRY HAS BEEN ATTACKED WITH ATOMIC WEAPONS. ITS A GREAT PROPAGANDA PIECE AND A HALF HOUR IN LENGTH, KICK BACK AND ENJOY IT!
Public Shelter Living begins with shelter manager Bob and his assistant, a chirpy blonde, counting people coming into a public Fallout Shelter to avoid the off-camera atomic attack. The thirty-minute black and white movie concerns the challenges of living in a shelter "for as long as we have to." At one point Shelter Manager Bob tells everyone "That it won't be any picnic in here. There's going to be a certain amount of discomfort for all of us." He then urges his captive audience to "sit down, remain calm and continue filling out those forms that were handed to you."
Beatnik malcontent "Mr. McCann" is having none of it. The primary lesson of the film seems to be targeted at potential shelter managers: Don't let stoned beatniks wander into your shelter after the big one drops. You might live to regret it!
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Inside the Brooklyn Bridge, a Whiff of the Cold War
To step inside the vault — a dank and lightless room where the walls are lined with dusty boxes — is to be vividly reminded of the anxieties that dominated American life during the military rivalry with the Soviet Union, an era when air-raid sirens and fallout shelters were standard elements of the grade-school curriculum.
Several historians said yesterday that the find was exceptional, in part because many of the cardboard boxes of supplies were ink-stamped with two especially significant years in cold-war history: 1957, when the Soviets launched the Sputnik satellite, and 1962, when the Cuban missile crisis seemed to bring the world to the precipice of nuclear destruction.
"Civil defense agencies were building fallout shelters all over the country during the 1950's and stocking them with supplies of food and water and whatnot," said John Lewis Gaddis, a historian atYale and a pre-eminent scholar of the cold war.
"Most of those have been dismantled; the crackers got moldy a very long time ago. It's kind of unusual to find one fully intact — one that is rediscovered, almost in an archaeological sense. I don't know of a recent example of that."
The Department of Transportation, which controls the bridge, has moved to secure the site while figuring out to do with the trove of supplies.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has been contacted to handle the drugs, which include bottles of Dextran, used to treat or prevent shock.
City workers commonly find coins or bottles when repaving streets, fixing water mains or probing sewer drains, said the transportation commissioner, Iris Weinshall. "We find stuff all the time, but what's sort of eerie about this is that this is a bridge that thousands of people go over each day," she said. "They walk over it, cars go over it, and this stuff was just sitting there."
The room is within one of the arched masonry structures under the main entrance ramp to the bridge, not far from the Manhattan anchorage. Three city officials gave a brief tour of the room yesterday — taking care to step gingerly over broken glass and fallen wooden boards — on the condition that the precise location not be disclosed, for security reasons.
The most numerous items are the boxes of Civil Defense All-Purpose Survival Crackers. Printed in block letters, on each canister, was information about the number of pounds (6.75), the number of crackers per pound (62) and the minimum number of crackers per can (419).
Joseph M. Vaccaro, a carpentry supervisor at the Transportation Department, estimated that there were 140 boxes of crackers — each with six cans, for a total of some 352,000 crackers.
The officials would not open any of the supplies because of safety concerns over germs, but Mr. Vaccaro said that one of the canisters had broken open, and inside it, workers found the crackers intact in wax-paper wrapping.
Nearby were several dozen boxes with sealed bottles of Dextran, made by Wyeth Laboratories in Philadelphia. More mysterious were about 50 metal drums, made by United States Steel in Camden, N.J. According to the label, each was intended to hold 17.5 gallons and to be converted, if necessary, for "reuse as a commode." They are now empty.
For the officials who gave the tour, the discovery set off some strong memories. Judith E. Bergtraum, the department's first deputy commissioner, recalled air-raid drills — "first it was under the desk and then it was in the hall" — at Public School 165 in Queens. Russell Holcomb, a deputy chief bridge engineer, remembered watching Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe at the United Nations in 1960 on television.
Several of the boxes in the room have labels from the Office of Civil Defense, a unit of the Pentagon that coordinated domestic preparedness in the early 1960's. State and local governments often appointed their own civil-defense coordinators, said Graham T. Allison, a former assistant secretary of defense who teaches at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Dr. Allison acknowledged that fallout shelters would probably have been ineffective in the event of nuclear war but that the precautions were comforting.
"At least people would think they were doing something, even if it didn't have any effect," he said.
In 1950, the city's Office of Civil Defense, the predecessor to today's Office of Emergency Management, was formed to prepare for a possible atomic attack. In 1951, during the Korean War, floodlights and barbed-wire barriers were set up on and around the city's bridges, and bridge operators were organized into defense batteries, as part of an overall civil-defense strategy aimed at deterring sabotage.
Mayor Robert F. Wagner, who served from 1954 to 1965, appointed several civil-defense advisers. In 1959, a federal report concluded that two hydrogen bombs dropped near the Brooklyn Bridge would kill at least 6.1 million people.
Kenneth T. Jackson, a historian at Columbia University and a former president of the New-York Historical Society, said he was curious about how the stockpile got there. "Is this a secret cache of supplies the city was trying to put together, without warning the community of a serious threat?" he asked.
"What surprises me," he added, "is that we have all these little nooks — that in this huge city with people crawling everywhere, we can find rooms still filled with stuff, 50 years after the fact."
Sunday, April 27, 2014
MY FIRST READ OF THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF Mr ELLSBERGS "THE AMERICAN DOOMSDAY MACHINE" WAS CHILLING I INSTANTLY KNEW I HAD TO SHARE THIS VERY SECRETIVE LOOK INTO THE COLDWAR NUCLEAR BATTLE PLAN, AND THE KNOWLEDGE OUR LEADERS HAD ON THE DEATHS WORLDWIDE FROM OUR FIGHT WITH THE SOVIET UNION. WOULD IT REALLY BE WORTH IT?
THIS AMERICAN HISTORY IS PART OF EVERYTHING THAT MAKES THIS BLOG AND BRINGS IT ALL IN TO PERSPECTIVE.
This is the first installment of my personal memoir of the nuclear era, “The American Doomsday Machine.” This online book, being published on Truthdig and other sites, will recount highlights of my six years of research and consulting for the Departments of Defense and State and the White House on issues of nuclear command and control, nuclear war planning and nuclear crises. It further draws on 34 subsequent years of research and activism largely on nuclear policy, which followed the intervening 11 years of my preoccupation with the Vietnam War. Subsequent installments will appear on Truthdig and here.]
U.S. Nuclear War Planning for a Hundred Holocausts
by Ellsberg.Net on September 13, 2009
[This is the first installment of my personal memoir of the nuclear era, “The American Doomsday Machine.” This online book, being published on Truthdig and other sites, will recount highlights of my six years of research and consulting for the Departments of Defense and State and the White House on issues of nuclear command and control, nuclear war planning and nuclear crises. It further draws on 34 subsequent years of research and activism largely on nuclear policy, which followed the intervening 11 years of my preoccupation with the Vietnam War. Subsequent installments will appear on Truthdig and here.]
One day in the spring of 1961, soon after my 30th birthday, I was shown how our world would end. Not the Earth, not—so far as I knew then—all humanity or life, but the destruction of most cities and people in the Northern Hemisphere.
What I was handed, in a White House office, was a single sheet of paper with some numbers and lines on it. It was headed “Top Secret—Sensitive”; under that, “For the President’s Eyes Only.”
The “Eyes Only” designation meant that, in principle, it was to be seen and read only by the person to whom it was explicitly addressed, in this case the president. In practice this usually meant that it would be seen by one or more secretaries and assistants as well: a handful of people, sometimes somewhat more, instead of the scores to hundreds who would normally see copies of a “Top Secret—Sensitive” document.
Later, working in the Pentagon as the special assistant to the assistant secretary of defense, I often found myself reading copies of cables and memos marked “Eyes Only” for someone, though I was not that addressee, nor for that matter was my boss. And already by the time I read this one, as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, it was routine for me to read “Top Secret” documents. But I had never before seen one marked “For the President’s Eyes Only,” and I never did again.
The question to the JCS was: “If your plans for general [nuclear] war are carried out as planned, how many people will be killed in the Soviet Union and China?”
Their answer was in the form of a graph (see representation below). The vertical axis was the number of deaths, in millions. The horizontal axis was time, indicated in months. The graph was a straight line, starting at time zero on the horizontal—on the vertical axis, the number of immediate deaths expected within hours of our attack—and slanting upward to a maximum at six months, an arbitrary cutoff for the deaths that would accumulate over time from initial injuries and from fallout radiation.
The lowest number, at the left of the graph, was 275 million deaths. The number at the right-hand side, at six months, was 325 million.
That same morning, with Komer’s approval, I drafted another question to be sent to the Joint Chiefs over the president’s signature, asking for a total breakdown of global deaths from our own attacks, to include not only the whole Sino-Soviet bloc but all other countries that would be affected by fallout. Again their answer was prompt. Komer showed it to me about a week later, this time in the form of a table with explanatory footnotes.
In sum, 100 million more deaths, roughly, were predicted in East Europe. There might be an additional 100 million from fallout in West Europe, depending on which way the wind blew (a matter, largely, of the season). Regardless of season, still another 100 million deaths, at least, were predicted from fallout in the mostly neutral countries adjacent to the Soviet bloc or China: Finland, Austria, Afghanistan, India, Japan and others. Finland, for example, would be wiped out by fallout from U.S. ground-burst explosions on the Soviet submarine pens at Leningrad. (The total number of “casualties”—injured as well as killed—had not been requested and was not estimated; nor were casualties from any Soviet retaliatory strikes.)
The total death toll as calculated by the Joint Chiefs, from a U.S. first strike aimed primarily at the Soviet Union and China, would be roughly 600 million dead. A hundred Holocausts.
* * *I remember what I thought when I held the single sheet with the graph on it. I thought, this piece of paper should not exist. It should never have existed. Not in America. Not anywhere, ever. It depicted evil beyond any human project that had ever existed. There should be nothing on Earth, nothing real, that it referred to.
But I knew what it dealt with was all too real. I had seen some of the smaller bombs myself, H-bombs with an explosive yield of 1.1 megatons each—equivalent to 1.1 million tons of high explosive, each bomb half the total explosive power of all the bombs of World War II combined. I saw them slung under single-pilot F-100 fighter-bombers on alert at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, ready to take off on 10 minutes’ notice. On one occasion I had laid my hand on one of these, not yet loaded on a plane. On a cool day, the smooth metallic surface of the bomb was warm from the radiation within: a bodylike warmth.
I was in Okinawa in the fall of 1959 as part of a task force organized by the Office of Naval Research, which was there to study and improve nuclear command and control for the commander in chief of the Pacific Command (CINCPAC), Adm. Harry D. Felt. I was on loan from the RAND Corp., which I had joined as a full-time employee in June 1959 after a previous summer there as a consultant. This particular study took us to every command post in the Pacific that year and the next—from Oahu to Guam, Tokyo, Taiwan and the command ship of the Seventh Fleet—with license from Adm. Felt to “talk to anyone, see anything” in the field of nuclear command and control.
At Kadena, the pilots weren’t in the planes on alert or in the hut on the alert strip; they were allowed to be elsewhere, at the post exchange or in their quarters, because each was accompanied at all times by his individual jeep and driver to return him in minutes to the strip when an alert was sounded. They practiced the alert at least once a day. The officer in charge told our research group that we could choose the time for that day’s rehearsal. When our leader said “OK, now,” the klaxons sounded all over the area and jeeps appeared almost instantly on all the roads leading to the strip, rushing around curves, pilots leaping out as they reached the strip and scrambling into the cockpits, still tightening their helmets and gear. Engines started in 10 planes, almost simultaneously. Ten minutes.
These were tactical fighter-bombers, with limited range. There were more than a thousand of them, armed with H-bombs, in range of Russia and China on strips like this or on aircraft carriers surrounding the Sino-Soviet bloc (as we still thought of it in 1961, though China and the Soviets had actually split apart a couple of years before that). Each of them could devastate a large city with one bomb. For a larger metropolitan area, it might take two. Yet the Strategic Air Command (SAC), which did not command these planes (they were under the control of theater commanders), regarded these tactical theater forces as so vulnerable, unreliable and insignificant as a factor in all-out nuclear war that SAC planners had not even included them in their calculations of the outcome of attacks in a general war until that year.
Before 1961, planners at SAC headquarters took into consideration only attacks by the heavy bombers, intermediate-range ballistic missiles and ICBMs commanded by SAC, along with Polaris submarine-launched missiles. In the bomb bays of the SAC planes were thermonuclear bombs much larger than those I saw in Okinawa. Many were from five to 20 megatons in yield. Each 20-megaton bomb—1,000 times the yield of the fission bomb that destroyed Nagasaki—was the equivalent of 20 million tons of TNT, or 10 times the total tonnage the U.S. dropped in World War II. Some 500 bombs in the arsenal each had the explosive power of 25 megatons. Each of these warheads had more power than all the bombs and shells exploded in all the wars of human history.
These intercontinental bombers and missiles had come to be stationed almost entirely in the continental U.S., though they might be deployed to forward bases outside it in a crisis. A small force of B-52s was constantly airborne. Many of the rest were on alert. I had seen a classified film of an incredible maneuver in which a column of B-58s—smaller than B-52s but still intercontinental heavy bombers—taxied down a runway and then took off simultaneously, rather than one at a time. The point—as at Kadena and elsewhere—was to get in the air and away from the field as fast as possible, on warning of an imminent attack, before an enemy missile might arrive. In the time it would normally have taken for a single plane to take off, a squadron of planes would be airborne, on its way to assigned targets.
In the film these heavy bombers, each as big as an airliner, sped up in tandem as they raced down the airstrip, one behind the other so close that if one had slackened its pace for an instant the plane behind, with its full fuel load and its multiple thermonuclear weapons, would have rammed into its tail. Then they lifted together, like a flock of birds startled by a gunshot. It was an astonishing sight; it was beautiful.
On carriers, smaller, tactical bombers would be boosted on takeoff by a catapult, a kind of large slingshot. But since the general nuclear war plan, as I knew, called for takeoff around the world of as many U.S. planes and missiles as were ready at the time of the execute order—as near-simultaneously as possible—to attack targets that were all assigned in prior planning, the preparations contemplated one overall, inflexible global attack as if all the vehicles, with more than 3,000 warheads, were launched by a single catapult. A sling made for Goliath.
The rigidity of the single, coordinated plan—which by 1961 included tactical bombers—in what was termed the Single Integrated Operational Plan, or SIOP, meant that its underlying “strategy” amounted to nothing more than a vast trucking operation to transport thermonuclear warheads to Soviet and Chinese cities and military sites. The latter were the great majority of targets, since all the cities could be destroyed by a small fraction of the attacking vehicles.
One of the principal expected effects of this plan—partly intended, partly (in allied, neutral and “satellite” countries) unavoidable “collateral damage”—was summarized on the piece of paper I held that day in the spring of 1961: the extermination of over half a billion people.
(In fact, this was certainly a vast underestimate of the fatalities. Dr. Lynn Eden, a scholar at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, has revealed in “Whole World on Fire” (Cornell, 2004) the bizarre fact that the war planners of SAC and the Joint Chiefs have—throughout the nuclear era, to the present day—deliberately omitted entirely from their estimates of the destructive effects of U.S. or Russian nuclear attacks the effects of fire. They have done so on the grounds that these effects are harder to predict than the effects of blast or fallout on which their estimates of fatalities are exclusively based. Yet the firestorms caused by thermonuclear weapons are known to be predictably the largest producers of fatalities in a nuclear war! Given that for almost all strategic nuclear weapons the damage radius of firestorms would be two to five times the radius destroyed by blast, a more realistic estimate of the fatalities caused directly by the planned U.S. attacks would surely have been double the figure on the summary I held in my hand—a billion people or more.)
The declared intent of this planning deployment and rehearsal was to deter Soviet aggression. I knew by this time something that was rarely made clear to the American public, that what was to be deterred by all this was not only nuclear attacks by the Soviets but conventional, non-nuclear Soviet aggression, in Europe in particular. In both cases, the story went, it was all designed to prevent such Soviet attacks from ever taking place. This global machine had been constructed in hopes that it would never be set in motion: or, as it was often put, so that it would never be used. The official motto of SAC, on display at all its bases, was “Peace Is Our Profession.”
Deterring Soviet non-nuclear aggression in Europe—say, a military occupation of West Berlin—depended ultimately on a presidential commitment to direct, if necessary, a U.S. nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union. SAC’s profession would shift near-instantaneously from Peace to War. The Strategic Air Command trained daily, and effectively, to be ready to carry out that order. The American commitment to defend NATO (with Berlin its most vulnerable element) by nuclear threats, and if necessary by strategic first-strike nuclear attacks, effectively passed the trigger for such U.S. attacks to the Soviets.
The real possibility that the Soviets might pull that trigger lay at the heart of all our nuclear planning and preparations. It was understood that although deterrence was the principal objective of our nuclear posture, it was not foolproof. It might fail. That applied both to deterrence of nuclear attack and to deterrence of a conventional Soviet attack in Europe. In either case, it was not impossible that the Soviets would attack despite our threats and our best efforts to dissuade them.
What to do then was a matter of highly classified discussion over the years. But on this question the official top-secret plans approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower were unequivocal: the demolition of the Sino-Soviet bloc.
A striking and highly secret characteristic of the existing plans was that they called for essentially the same strategic response and targeting list for each of three quite distinct ways in which general war might come about. The first, and most likely in the judgment of the JCS, was a U.S. nuclear first strike as an escalation of conflict between U.S. and Soviet conventional forces, perhaps originating in conflict over Berlin or an uprising in East Europe. Second was U.S. pre-emption of an imminent Soviet nuclear attack on the U.S., or as I’d heard it described in the Pentagon, “striking second first.” Third—and least likely in the eyes of the JCS—was a retaliatory response to a successful Soviet surprise attack.
Although the size of the U.S. force available for attack would be different in each of these cases, the Eisenhower-approved plans called for the same target list—which included 151 “urban-industrial targets,” i.e. cities, along with military targets—to be attacked under all conditions.
And in all three cases, all large cities of both the Soviet Union and China (even if China had no part in the crisis or hostilities triggering execution of this plan) were high on the list for initial, simultaneous missile attacks, and for subsequent coverage by bombers—along with the highest-priority Soviet missile sites, air bases, air defenses and command centers.
In the White House in January 1961 I had informed the newly arrived assistant to the president for national security, McGeorge Bundy, of a number of little-known facts and problems. (How I came to this knowledge will be recounted later in this series.) One of these was the focus on U.S. first-strike plans in American preparations for any conflict with the Soviet Union involving forces above the level of a brigade. Another was Eisenhower’s approval of operational planning to destroy an “optimum mix” of population targets along with military sites no matter how the conflict had originated.
A third subject in my briefing was the variety of ways in which the strategic forces might be triggered “by accident”: by false alarm, miscalculation, miscommunication, or actions not directly authorized by the president or perhaps by any high-level commander. (Exploring these possibilities in the field had been my special mission in the CINCPAC task force, and later as a RAND specialist in nuclear weapons “command and control.”)
The last point in particular caught Bundy’s attention. I reported what I had learned in the Pacific, one of the most sensitive secrets in the system: that to forestall the possibility that our retaliatory response might be paralyzed either by a Soviet attack on Washington or by presidential incapacity, President Eisenhower had as of 1958 secretly delegated to theater commanders the authority to launch nuclear operations in a crisis, either in the event of the physical unavailability of the president—Eisenhower himself had suffered both a stroke and a heart attack in office—or if communications with Washington were cut off.
I had further learned that CINCPAC, Adm. Felt, had likewise delegated that authority downward in his command, under like conditions. That put many fingers on the button if communications went out between Washington and Hawaii, or Hawaii and the Western Pacific. In those years such an outage occurred for each of these links, on average, once a day. Thus this arrangement magnified greatly the possibilities listed above for “inadvertent, accidental” nuclear war, especially when outages occurred during a potential nuclear crisis such as the Taiwan Straits (Quemoy) confrontation of 1958. (The response of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations to this information will be addressed in my next installment.)
The combined message of these reports was that our overall system for strategic response had the character of a giant thermonuclear mousetrap on a hair trigger. For a wide variety of provocative circumstances—definitely not requiring and most not involving either Soviet-initiated nuclear attacks or imminent expectation of them—it was set inflexibly to annihilate a large fraction of the civilian population of the Soviet Union and China, and of many allies and neutrals.
My one-on-one briefing of Bundy in his first weeks in office—arranged by Paul Nitze, the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs—was in part the reason I was in a position to draft questions for the White House soon after. As it happened, I had drafted the question about estimated deaths from execution of the general war plans in the belief that the JCS did not know an answer to it. Officers I worked with in the planning staff of the Air Force were convinced that no one, either in the Joint Staff or the Air Staff, had ever calculated the overall human consequences of carrying out their plans. That encouraged me to ask the JCS in the name of a higher authority for an estimate, in the expectation they would be embarrassed by having to admit they could not answer it promptly.
The authority I had in mind initially was the secretary of defense. (Although funding for RAND, including my salary, came mainly from the Air Force at that time, I was in effect on loan to the Office of the Secretary of Defense for much of 1961.) But as I’ve said, the question was picked up by the White House and sent in the president’s name. I had deliberately limited it, initially, to effects in the Soviet Union and China alone, instead of worldwide or in the Sino-Soviet bloc. That was to keep the Joint Staff from disguising its lack of any estimates at all by pleading a need for time to calculate casualties, say, in Albania, or the Southern Hemisphere.
Alternatively, I expected the Joint Staff to improvise an estimate which could easily be exposed, to its embarrassment, as unrealistically low. The point of eliciting either of these expected responses was to gain bargaining power for the secretary of defense in a bureaucratic effort (discussed later) to change the JCS plans in the direction of guidance I had drafted for the secretary earlier that month.
But my expectations were wrong. The Joint Chiefs were embarrassed neither by the question nor by their answer. That was the surprise, along with the answer itself. The implications, as I saw them, were literally existential, bearing on the nature and future of our species.
I myself at that time was neither a pacifist nor a critic of the explicit logic of deterrence or its legitimacy. On the contrary, I had been urgently working with my colleagues to assure a survivable U.S. capability to threaten clearly unacceptable damage to the Soviet Union in response to the most successful possible Soviet nuclear attack on the U.S. But planned slaughter of 600 million civilians—10 times the total death count in World War II, a hundred times the scale of the Holocaust? That aimed-for accomplishment exposed a dizzying irrationality, madness, insanity, at the heart and soul of our nuclear planning and apparatus.
I said earlier that I saw that day how the northern civilized world would end. I might have thought instead how it could end or might do so, but that wasn’t the conclusion I drew then. The chart I held in my hand that spring morning said to me that any confidence—worse, it seemed, any realistic hope—that the alert forces on either side might never be used was ill-founded
And the presidents themselves? A few months earlier, Dwight Eisenhower had secretly endorsed the blueprints of this multi-genocide machine. He had furthermore demanded largely for budgetary reasons that there be no other plan for fighting Russians. He had approved this single strategic operational plan despite reportedly being, for reasons I now understood, privately appalled by its implications. And the Joint Chiefs had responded so promptly to his successor’s question about the human impact of our planned attacks because they clearly assumed that John Kennedy would not, in response, order them to resign or be dishonorably discharged, or order the machine to be dismantled. (In that, it turned out, they were right.)
Surely neither of these presidents actually desired ever to order the execution of these plans, nor would any likely successor want to take such an action. But they must have been aware, or should have been, of the dangers of allowing such a system to exist. They should have reflected on, and trembled before, the array of contingencies—accidents, false alarms, outages of communications, Soviet actions misinterpreted by lower commanders, unauthorized action—that might release pent-up forces beyond their control; and on possible developments that could lead them personally to escalate or launch a pre-emptive attack.
Eisenhower had chosen to accept these risks. To impose them on humanity, and all other forms of life. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson to my direct knowledge did likewise. So did Richard Nixon. To bring this story up to the present, there is much evidence—and none to the contrary—that the same has been true of every subsequent president.
Two more aspects of their gambles were not known to me in 1961. Later accounts in this series will reveal that in the Quemoy crisis three years earlier and the Cuban missile crisis one year later—and to lesser extent in a couple of dozen other episodes—these risks came secretly closer to being realized than almost anyone recognizes to this day.
Moreover, the scale of the potential catastrophe was and remains vastly greater than I or the JCS or any presidents imagined over the next 20 years. Not until 1982-83 did new calculations—recently confirmed—reveal that hemispheric and possibly global clouds of smoke and soot from the burning cities attacked by U.S. or Russian forces would block out sunlight for a prolonged period, lowering temperature drastically during spring and summer, freezing lakes and rivers and destroying crops worldwide. This “nuclear winter” could extinguish many forms of life and starve to death billions of humans.
Yet the “option” of massive attacks on cities (or, euphemistically, upon industrial and military targets within or near cities) almost surely remains one among many planned alternatives, ready as ever to be carried out, within the strategic repertoire of U.S. and Russian plans and force readiness: this, a quarter-century after the discovery of the nuclear winter phenomenon.
The U.S. and Russia currently each have about 10,000 warheads, over 2,000 of them operationally deployed. (Each has several thousand in reserve status—not covered in recent negotiations—and an additional 5,000 or so awaiting dismantlement). Presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev have agreed to lower the operational warheads to between 1,500 and 1,675 by the year 2012. But the explosion of 1,000 warheads together by the U.S. and Russia could trigger a full-scale nuclear winter. And recent studies show the possibility of ecological catastrophe from smoke effects on the ozone layer after a very much smaller exchange, such as could occur between India and Pakistan.
A 2007 peer-reviewed study concluded that “the estimated quantities of smoke generated by attacks totaling little more than one megaton of nuclear explosives [two countries launching 50 Hiroshima-size bombs each] could lead to global climate anomalies exceeding any changes experienced in recorded history. The current global arsenal is about 5000 megatons.” A December 2008 study in Physics Today estimates that “the direct effects of using the 2012 arsenals [1,700 to 2,200 Russian and American warheads each] would lead to hundreds of millions of fatalities. The indirect effects [long-term, from smoke] would likely eliminate the majority of the human population.”
It is the long-neglected duty of the American Congress to test these scientific findings against the realities of our secret war plans. It is Congress’ responsibility to investigate the nature of the planned targets for the reduced operational forces proposed by Obama and Medvedev—1,500 to 1,675—or some lower but still huge number like 1,000, and the foreseeable human and environmental consequences of destroying those targets with the attacks currently programmed.
The questions to be addressed initially are simple: “How many cities would burn under our various preplanned ‘options’? How many humans would die from these various attacks—from blast, fire, fallout, smoke, soot and ozone depletion—in the target country, in its regional neighbors, in America, and worldwide?”
And these, less simple: “For each of these possible attack options and exchanges, what is the likely, and the range of possible, impact on the regional and global environment? Which of our options, if any, threaten to produce regional or worldwide nuclear winter? Do we—or does any state—have a right to possess such an ‘option’? Should a U.S. or Russian president have the authority—or the power, as each now has—to order attacks that might have the global effects described above?”
Our representatives in Congress should—for the first time—take on responsibility for learning about and influencing the possible human and environmental consequences of carrying out our operational nuclear war plans. But past experience makes clear that Senate or House members will not hold real investigative hearings, using committee subpoena powers, to penetrate the curtains of secrecy around these matters without a new level of pressure from American citizens. (To join some worthy efforts—which have not heretofore, in my judgment, focused sufficiently on congressional investigation or war planning—see here, here and here.
Every parliament in the world has an urgent need to know what its constituents have to expect—in the way of homicidal and environmental damage—from a U.S.-Russian nuclear exchange: or for that matter, from an India-Pakistan exchange. These assemblies have a stake in discovering—and changing—the societal and ecological impact of the existent contingency war plans of every nuclear weapons state, the U.S. and Russia above all but the others as well. What is needed is a worldwide movement. Fortunately there are several efforts to join (see here, here, here, here and here), in keeping with President Obama’s declared goal of a world free of nuclear weapons.
I felt sure in 1961 that the existent potential for moral and physical catastrophe—our government’s readiness to commit multi-genocidal extermination on a hemispheric scale by nuclear blast and fallout (no one knew yet of the global danger of ecocide and mass extinctions from smoke and ozone depletion)—was not only a product of aberrant Americans or a peculiarly American phenomenon. I was right. A few years later, after the Soviets were humiliated by the Cuban missile crisis and Nikita Khrushchev was ousted, the Kremlin set out to imitate our destructive capacity in every detail and surpass it when possible.
To be sure, Americans, and U.S. Air Force planners in particular, were the only people in the world who believed that they had won a war by bombing, and, particularly in Japan, by bombing civilians. In World War II and for years afterward, there were only two air forces in the world, the British and American, that could so much as hope to do that.
But the nuclear era put that demonic temptation—to deter, defeat or punish an adversary on the basis of an operational capability to annihilate most of its population—eventually within the reach of a great many nations. By the spring of ’61, four states (soon to be five, now nine) had, at great expense, bought themselves that capability. Humans just like these American planners—and presidents—were surely at work in every nuclear weapons state producing plans like these for nuclear attacks on cities.I knew personally many of the American planners, though apparently—from the fatality chart—not quite as well as I had thought. What was frightening was precisely that I knew they were not evil, in any ordinary, or extraordinary, sense. They were ordinary Americans, capable, conscientious and patriotic. I was sure they were not different, surely not worse, than the people in Russia who were doing the same work, or the people who would sit at the same desks in later U.S. administrations. I liked most of the planners and analysts I knew. Not only the physicists at RAND who designed bombs and the economists who speculated on strategy (like me), but the colonels who worked on these very plans, whom I consulted with during the workday and drank beer with in the evenings.
That chart set me the problem, which I have worked on for nearly half a century, of understanding my fellow humans—us, I don’t separate myself—in the light of this real potential for self-destruction of our species and of most others. Looking not only at the last eight years but at the steady failure in the two decades since the ending of the Cold War to reverse course or to eliminate this potential, it is hard for me to avoid concluding that this potential is more likely than not to be realized in the long run.
Are further proliferation and—what I have focused on here—the persistence of superpower nuclear arsenals that threaten global catastrophe a near-certainty? Is it too late to eliminate these dangers, in time? Some dark days I think so, as I did that morning in the White House. Most of the time I don’t, or I would not have tried as I have and still do to eliminate them, and I would not be using my time to begin this account of them.
The story does get worse; see, for example, my next installment, “How Many Fingers on the Buttons?” The more one learns about the hidden history of the nuclear era—this is the cumulative message of this ongoing series—the more miraculous it seems that the doomsday machines which we and the Russians have built and maintained have not yet triggered each other. At the same time, the clearer it becomes that we could and that we must dismantle
Friday, April 25, 2014
IMAGINARY SPACES FOR AN IMAGINARY WAR: FALLOUT SHELTERS IN NEW YORK CITY
FINDING A REAL FALLOUT SHELTER IN NYC
THIS POST IS THE RESULT OF OTHERS DIGGING AROUND THE HISTORY OF NYC AND I AM GLAD TO POST IT HERE.NYC REALLY WENT FOR THE WHOLE CIVIL DEFENSE POSTURE DURING WORLD WAR TWO AND STRAIGHT IN TO THE COLD WAR, WHEN THE REALITY OF PEOPLE SHELTERING IN TARGET AREAS UNDERNEATH 50 STORY BUILDINGS MADE OF IRON AND CEMENT WAS REALIZED THE IDEA STARTED TO FADE AWAY. THE POORER AREAS OF THE FIVE BOROS IN THE RESIDENTIAL PARTS EVERY BUILDING IS CLEARLY MARKED. GO TO BROOKLYN OR THE LOWER EAST SIDE OF MANHATTAN ,THE SOUTH BRONX (ONLY LEGACY BUILDINGS THAT SURVIVED THE 1960s- 1980s SIGNS ARE EERILY STILL POSTED AND REFLECT LIGHT AS WELL AS THEIR FIRST DAY POSTED, MOST NEVER STOCKED OR IF THEY WERE THE MATERIAL WALKED OFF A LONG TIME AGO. BUT!!!! FALLOUT SHELTER HUNTERS OF NYC THERE ARE STILL SHELTERS STOCKED AND READY TO BE FOUND!! SO HUNT FOR THEM! THE INVENTORY INSIDE THESE BASEMENTS BELONGS TO WHOMEVER WANTS TO TAKE IT AS THE US GOVERNMENT AGREEMENT TO LEASE THE SPACE FOR AN EMERGENCY ATTACK OF THE NUCLEAR KIND IS NOW EXPIRED AND THE PARTIES INVOLVED ARE MOST LIKELY LONG GONE! FACTORIES ,SCHOOLS, THE PROJECTS, OLD GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS CITY OR FEDERAL , ASK TO LOOK AROUND, TAKE PICTURES AND LOOK OFFICIAL WHILE HUNTING, POSSIBLY LIKE A ARCHITECT OR A BUILDING SUPERVISOR WEAR A HARD HAT AND A SHIRT AND TIE TOPPED WITH A DAYGLO ORANGE VEST , BOOTS CARRY A FLASHLIGHT AND A BACKPACK, APPEAR TO BE LOOKING FOR THAT ADDRESS OFF A PIECE OF PAPER IN YOUR HAND WHEN APPROACHED. THIS WILL OPEN MANY DOORS AND WHAT YOU SAY AND HOW OFFICIAL YOU CAN APPEAR WILL CERTAINLY GET YOU IN! KNOW YOUR LIMITS AND CARRY A CELL PHONE ALWAYS. THE SHELTERS ARE WAITING TO BE FOUND AND IF YOU FIND ONE CONTACT ME ON THIS BLOG AND I WILL POST YOUR FIND!HAPPY SHELTER HUNTING!
THE FIVE BORO'S BELOW AND THE RANGE OF TOTAL DESTRUCTION ON NYC IF A A-BOMB OR H-BOMB WERE DROPPED ON NYC, THE A-BOMB IS CENTERED IN MANHATTAN IN THE 14th STREET AREA AND THE H-BOMB IS CENTERED NEAR THE WILLIAMSBURG BRIDGE
Let Me Die in My Footsteps: New Yorkers React to Fallout Shelters
I will not go down under the ground
‘Cause somebody tells me death’s coming round.
And I will not carry myself down to die
When I go to my grave my head will be high.
The area of destruction that would have covered most of Manhattan and significant parts of the boroughs, It's for this reason that New Yorkers who protested against civil defense and shelters cited the "false sense of security" of the programs or the fact that they were "virtually useless". Paul S. Boyer, a historian at the Univerity of Wisconsin-Madison, said the tendency of this period towards sheltering should not be intepreted as a sign of naivete. "Throughout this period, there was an enormous level of scepticism about this civil defense strategy of fallout shelters and stockpiling."5
At the end of the day, for New Yorkers and Americans as well, there was always the question of whether outliving a nuclear war was even worth it. As one civil defense protester at City Hall Park in Manhattan wrote in a sign, "After two weeks in a shelter, then what? No food, no water, hot dust and death."
‘Cause somebody tells me death’s coming round.
And I will not carry myself down to die
When I go to my grave my head will be high.
- Bob Dylan, “Let Me Die in My Footsteps”
The above quote - from a bootleg Bob Dylan song recorded in 1962 – encapsulates some of the discomfort with the idea of fallout shelters that many Americans, including New Yorkers, shared. Dylan traced the impetus for the song to seeing a fallout shelter being built in Kansas. “As I watched them building,” said Dylan, “it struck me sort of funny that they would concentrate so much on digging a hole underground when there were so many other things they should do in life.”1 Urban planner Robert Moses, "master builder" of New York City, expressed this same level of discomfort with the idea of building societies underground when he declared, “We are not going underground. We shall not evacuate and disperse. We shall not change our way of life. The sane people of this country will not take this threat seriously enough to support a fantastic national underground escapist program.”2
In addition to finding something un-American about the whole concept of burrowing underground, New Yorkers in particular would have been skeptical about the efficacy of a shelter program. Maps of areas of destruction caused by dropping an atomic bomb on a major American city were common in popular media and academic papers in the 1950s and 1960s. By the time of the National Fallout Shelter Survey, the Soviets had tested a fifty megaton bomb (in comparisonto the 15 Kiloton bomb dropped on Hiroshima).3 The below figure, from the Annals of the New York Acadamey of Sciences, shows the expected damage from just a twenty megaton bomb dropped on Columbus Circle.4
SEE BELOW FOR LARGER VERSION OF ABOVE MAP
TIMES SQUARE AT HIGH NOON DURING OPERATION ALERT A MANDATORY FALLOUT SHELTER DRILL INVOLVING THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES
New Yorkers also would have had a unique perspective on the fallout shelter debate because the National Fallout Shelter Survey Program was so effective in - at the very least - placing fallout shelter signs around New York City. This means that the debate was not entirerly theoretical as spaces in the built environment surrounding New Yorkers would have been re-defined as fallout shelters. In light of this, the National Shelter Survey Program sometimes created interesting cases of dissonance between the Office of Civil Defense and New York City residents when its need to designate locations as fallout shelters met residents expectations of how their living or working space should be defined and used. For instance, residents of a row of tenement houses in Harlem protested when their vermin infested building was chosen as a fallout shelter. They said they would prefer to run in a case of nuclear war rather than shelter with the rats. The Office of Civil Defense agreed to take down the signs in that case. In another instance, City College gladly accepted fallout shelter signs until it realized they were also required to house supplies to meet the requirements for a shelter. City College preferred to use its space for classrooms and said it would take down the signs even as the Office of Civil Defense insisted it would go ahead with shelter plans for the university.This is not to suggest that all New Yorkers rejected the shelter program out of hand. There are cases, such as Chase Manhattan bank or the residences at 10 Gracie Square, where New Yorkers were enthusiastic enough about shelters to create them even before the Office of Civil Defense got around to declaring their locations as shelter space or providing them with shelter supplies. However, there are just as many cases where buildings or institutions accepted a shelter sign but reacted very casually and/or indifferently to the needs of a fallout shelter. The Waldorf Astoria Hotel is one example. They were willing to accept supplies and become the first official hotel shelter in New York City, but they placeed the fallout shelter supplies in a "temporary" location on the not safe from nuclear blast roof of the hotel. (They blamed the lack of notice for this temporary storage.)
At the end of the day, for New Yorkers and Americans as well, there was always the question of whether outliving a nuclear war was even worth it. As one civil defense protester at City Hall Park in Manhattan wrote in a sign, "After two weeks in a shelter, then what? No food, no water, hot dust and death."
ONE OF THE MANY MARKED FALLOUT SHELTERS IN PUBLIC BUILDINGS LIKE SCHOOLS
NYC BUILDINGS WITH COMMUNITY FALLOUT SHELTERS
LARGER VERSION OF RESEARCH OF A ATOMIC WEAPON DETONATION , TARGET NYC.
FALLOUT SHELTER WARDEN INFORMATION
- NYC / Long Island/Suffolk County, New York Air Defense Sector - Suffolk County and Metropolitan New York City, United States
- around NYC and Long Island and see the signs black and yellow triangles pointing down to represent Atomic Fallout, some people don't even know about its meaning , The cold war was far from cold, L.I. had Nuclear Missiles and Nuclear weapons on armed Interceptor aircraft to stop soviet bombers from dropping atomic bombs on NYC and the Defense Industry on L.I.. This And The Civil Defense, The Armed Defense, and The Other Side Of The Fence, This Is History That Can Not be Lost so this blog will try To tell the stories of a dark time, When sirens would howl and we would all await most likely the end underground in places marked with Fallout Shelter Signs, buried beneath the rubble of the buildings above us or be Incinerated in Firestorms , Other Than That Fallout Shelter NYC brings The Local Cold War History in Film, Pictures, Stories, Civil Defense Pics ,Films other Media, Lots Of Propaganda And even Declassified USAF & DOD Films On everything They Detonated Or Trained For Excellent Stuff! So Settle In, Grab A Survival Biscuit, read the posts watch the films and enjoy the Shelter! please write me at email@example.com
(1968) USAF SURVIVE TO FIGHT ATOMIC WEAPON HITS ADC BASE JETS SCRAMBLE INTERCEPT SOVIET ATTACKERS
THIS IS A CLASSIC UNITED STATES AIR FORCE TRAINING FILM THAT IS BASED ON SURVIVABILITY OF USAF BASE OPERATIONS IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES AFTER A NUCLEAR ATTACK,BASES LIKE THIS ONE WERE SCATTERED THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES DURING THE COLD WAR PERIOD THE AMOUNT OF PRESSURE AND RESPONSIBILITY THESE MEN HAD HAD HANDLING NUCLEAR WEAPONS THAT WERE USED ON INTERCEPTOR AIRCRAFT ,THE # AM SCRAMBLES INTO THE WINTER NIGHT NOT KNOWING IF THIS WAS FOR REAL AS BASE AIRCRAFT PEELED OUT LAUNCHING IN PAIRS SC REAMING INTO THE WINTER NIGHT WAITING FOR WORD OF WHAT WAS GOING ON. THE AIRMEN AT THESE BASES KNEW ANY ATTACK ON THE US THEY WOULD BE AMONG THE FIRST TO KNOW AND FIRST TO GO WHILE THE COMMUNITIES OUTSIDE THE GATES NEVER KNEW HOW CLOSE THEY WERE TO WAR AS THE BASES WENT TO DIFFERENT DEFCON LEVELS, THIS WAS NOT INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC. THE FILM STARTS AT NIGHT AND THE SAC AIR DEFENSE COMMAND LAUNCHES ITS F-101 INTERCEPTOR AIR CRAFT AND PREPARES TO RIDE OUT A NUCLEAR STRIKE AS CONFIRMATION OF INCOMING MISSILES IS CONFIRMED. THANKS TO A CLIMATE OF GUARDED DEFENSE THE AIR FORCE BASE IS ABLE TO BUILD DEFENSIVE AND SHELTER FACILITIES TO SURVIVE AND FIGHT AND AS A NUCLEAR DETONATION IS CONFIRMED ON BASE THE AIR FORCE BEGINS TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEMS SO ITS AIR WING CAN COME BACK AND RE-ARM AND RE-FUEL A GREAT SUBJECT THAT U.S. MILITARY FORCES HAD TO PLAN FOR AND TRAIN AND THIS FILM SHOWS WHAT THEY EXPECTED, THE REAL QUESTION IS IT REALISTIC IN ITS EXPECTATION? THE ONE THING IS THAT IT IS PRICELESS THAT THE USAF MADE THIS TRAINING FILM AND ITs QUOTES LIKE "HAVE NO UMBRELLAS,IF IT STARTS TO RAIN WE WILL LET YOU KNOW." AND "YOU CALL US BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T WE WILL BE CALLING YOU" WEIRD,.. BUT STILL GREAT PROPAGANDA!FILMED AT A SAC AIR DEFENSE INTERCEPTOR BASE LOCATED IN OXNARD, OXNARD AFB CALIFORNIA 1967 THIS IS BASICALLY WHEN CLOSING OF SAC ADC BASES WAS GOING ON ALL OVER (SUFFOLK COUNTY AFB LONG ISLAND NEW YORK) RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NYC AREA FOR MOST OF THE COLD WAR.DURING 1968- EARLY 1970s MOST OF THESE AIR FORCE ADC UNITS WENT OVER TO FIGHT IN VIETNAM AND THAILAND AS FORWARD AIR CONTROL AND MUNITION LOADERS FOR USAF STRIKE PLANES USING IRON BOMBS INSTEAD OF ATOMIC MUNITIONS BOMBING NVA BASES AND NORTH VIETNAM AND THE ADC PILOTS AND BACKSEATERS WENT OVER ALSO, TO ME THESE GUYS REALLY SERVED THEIR COUNTRY PLUS ONE AND DESERVE BIG RESPECT , MY HATS OFF TO THE USAF AIRMEN OF ADC/SAC AND VIETNAM/THAILAND/LAOS
DEFCON THE ULTIMATE NUCLEAR WAR SIMULATION
USAF/SAC AT DEFCON ONE AND CONFIDENCE IS HIGH! "EXECUTIVE DESCISION" USAF'S NUCLEAR POSTURE
PROBABLY THE MOST TELLING STORY OF USAF MIGHT AND POWER AS WAR IS UNLEASHED ON THE AGRESSOR NATION WHO IS LATER IDENTIFIED TO BE THE SOVIET UNION, THE STOCK FOOTAGE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS BEING DROPPED BY B-47 STRATOJETS and B-52 BOMBERS ARE FROM ONCE CLASSIFIED USAF NUCLEAR TEST OPS. MOST OF THIS ENTIRE FILM IS FROM CLASSIFIED WARPLANS AND SPECIAL OPERATIONS, THIS HOMAGE TO SAC AND STRATEGIC AIR COMMANDS DEDICATION TO MISSION IS A JEWEL AND FROM A TIME WHERE THE WORLD WAS A TINDERBOX READY FOR SOMEONE TO STRIKE THE SPARK AND IGNITE A WORLDWIDE NUCLEAR CONFLAGRATION WHERE LIFE MOST LIKELY WOULD OF WENT THE WAY OF THE DINOSAUR AND ONLY MILLIONS OF YEARS LATER A FOSSILIZED REMAINS OF MAN WOULD BE DISCOVERED BY THE NEXT GENERATION THAT CAME FROM THE ASHES OF THE OLD, THIS FILM IS NOT KNOWN IF IT WAS EVER SEEN OR VIEWED OTHER THAN A HANDFUL OF HIGH RANKING USAF OFFICERS, SEE THE DESCRIPTION AND INFORMATION FROM THE NUCLEAR VAULT.COM --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The Power of Decision" may be the first (and perhaps the only) U.S. government film dramatizing nuclear war decision-making. Commissioned by the Strategic Air Command in 1956, the film has the look of a 1950s TV drama, but the subject is the ultimate Cold War nightmare. By the end of the film, after the U.S. Air Force has implemented war plan "Quick Strike" following a Soviet surprise attack, millions of Americans, Russians, Europeans, and Japanese are dead. The narrator, a Colonel Dodd, asserts that "nobody wins a nuclear war because both sides are sure to suffer terrible damage." Despite the "catastrophic" damage, one of the film’s operating assumptions is that defeat is avoidable as long as the adversary cannot impose its "will" on the United States. The film’s last few minutes suggest that the United States would prevail because of the "success" of its nuclear air offensive. Moscow, not the United States, is sending out pleas for a cease-fire. The conviction that the United States could prevail was a doctrinal necessity because Air Force leaders assumed the decisiveness of air power. The founding fathers of the U.S. Air Force came out of World War II with an unshakeable, if exaggerated, conviction that the strategic bombing of Germany and Japan had been decisive for the Allied victory and that air power would be crucial in future conflicts. (Note 1) The film’s title: "Power of Decision" embodies that conviction. The title itself is a reference to a 1948 statement by General George C. Kenney, the Strategic Air Command’s first commander-in-chief: "A war in which either or both opponents use atomic bombs will be over in a matter of days...The Air Force that is superior in its capability of destruction plays the dominant role and has the power of decision." (Note 2) A confident statement made by one of the characters, General "Pete" Larson, near the close of reel 6 flows from that assumption: the Soviets "must quit; we have the air and the power and they know it." The story begins with Colonel Dodd, standing in the underground command post of the "Long Range Offense Force" (oddly, the Strategic Air Command is never mentioned by name). Dodd discusses the Force’s strike capabilities, its mechanisms for keeping track of its strategic assets, and its war plans. That hundreds of bombers, based in U.S. territories and overseas bases, are ready to launch at a moment’s notice is the "surest way to prevent war." Dodd does not think that the Soviets are likely to strike, but if deterrence fails and the Soviets launch an attack, "this is what will happen." What "happens" is the initial detection by U.S. air defense network of the approach of Soviet bombers over the Arctic Circle. That leads to General Larson’s decision to launch the SAC alert force under plan "Quick Strike"; airborne and nuclear-armed alert bombers fly toward the Soviet periphery, but stay at position until they receive an attack order (this was the concept of "Fail Safe" or "Positive Control" although those terms were not used in the film). About an hour after the alert force is launched, General Larson receives reports of attacks on U.S. bases, followed by more information on Soviet nuclear attacks on cities and military bases in Japan and Western Europe. "That does it," General Turner (one of Larson’s deputies) exclaims. He soon receives a call on the red phone from the Joint Chiefs, who with the President, are in a protected command post. The president has ordered the execution of "Quick Strike," releasing bombers and missiles to strike the Soviet Union. This simultaneous bomber-missile "double punch" is aimed at "all elements of [Soviet] air power" [bomber bases] along with "war making and war sustaining resources," which meant strikes on urban-industrial areas and urban populations. To depict the undepictable, the film’s producers use stock footage of nuclear tests and missile and bomber launches. Once it is evident that the Soviets have launched a surprise air attack, Colonel Dodd observes that "By giving up the initiative, the West must expect to take the first blow." This statement is not developed, but for Air Force planners, "initiative" meant a preemptive attack or a first strike. By the early 1950, senior military planners and defense officials had begun considering the possibility of pre-emptive attacks on the basis of strategic warning; that is, if the United States intelligence warning system collected reliable information on an impending Soviet attack, decision-makers could approve strikes against Soviet military forces to disrupt it. Consistent with this, Strategic Air Command war plans assumed "two basic modes" for executing strike plans [See Document One below]. () One was retaliation against a surprise attack; the other "plan was based on the assumption that the United States had strategic warning and had decided to take the initiative." The SAC strike force would then be "launched to penetrate en masse prior to the enemy attack; the main target would be the enemy’s retaliatory capability." In the last part of reel 6, Air Force intelligence briefings review the destruction of the Soviet military machine, including destruction of air bases, weapons storage centers, and government control centers, among other targets. "Target M," presumably Moscow, has "been destroyed" by a nuclear weapon which struck 300 yards from the aiming point. The Soviet attack has done calamitous damage to the United States, with 60 million casualties, including 20 million wounded, but evidence was becoming available of the "success" of the U.S. air offensive. The Soviet Air Force has been reduced to a handful of aircraft, it had stopped launching nuclear strikes outside of its territory, and SACEUR [Supreme Allied Commander Europe] reports the "complete disintegration of resistance" by Soviet ground forces. Moreover, cease-fire requests are coming in from the Soviets. In this context, General Larson’s certainty that the "Soviets must quit" conveyed prevailing assumptions about the value of strategic air power. Around the time when "The Power of Decision" as being produced, a statement by SAC Commander-in-Chief General Curtis LeMay made explicit what was implicit in Larson’s observation. In an address before the Air Force’s Scientific Advisory Board in 1957 [see Document Two], LeMay argued that U.S. strategic forces could not be an effective deterrent unless they were "clearly capable of winning under operational handicaps of bad weather and no more than tactical warning." And by winning, LeMay said he meant "achieving a condition wherein the enemy cannot impose his will on us, but we can impose our will on him." Larson’s statement about control of the air dovetailed exactly with LeMay’s assumptions about winning. Little is known about the production and distribution of "The Power of Decision," or even if it was actually shown. According to the history of the Air Photographic and Charting Service for January through June 1957, on 28 May 1956, the Strategic Air Command requested the service to produce the film, which would be classified Secret. SAC leaders may have wanted such a film for internal indoctrination and training purposes, to help officers and airmen prepare themselves for the worst active-duty situation that they could encounter. Perhaps the relatively unruffled style of the film’s performers was to serve as a model for SAC officers if they ever had to follow orders that could produce a nuclear holocaust. In any event, the script for "Power of Decision" was approved on 10 May 1957 and a production planning conference took place on 29 May 1957. The contract productions section of the Air Photographic and Charting Service was the film’s producing unit. The next step was to find actors with security clearances because even the synopsis of the film was classified secret (although later downgraded to "official use only"). As the Air Force was not in the business of hiring actors, the production unit engaged the services of MPO Productions, a New York-based firm which produced commercials and industrial films. [References to MPO, Inc. are on the index cards and on "The End" frame at the close of reel 6]. What happened next, when the work on the film was completed, SAC’s assessment of the project, and whether, when, or where the film was shown, cannot presently be determined, although the information may be in the living memories of participants or viewers from those days. Note: The relatively poor quality of this digital reproduction reflects the condition of the original reels as turned over to the National Archives by the Air Force.
USAF/DEFENSE NUCLEAR AGENCY (1970) MEETING THE TERRORIST THREAT- GUARDING USAF NUCLEAR FACILITIES
- Meeting the Terrorist Threat, Produced by the Defense Nuclear Agency - Early 1970's - 7:30 - Color - Since the emergence of the terrorist threat, the U.S. Governments concern about the possible terrorism against nuclear facilities has intensified. This video is a dramatization. It shows how the Government has responded to this threat. The video depicts nuclear security activities at an early nuclear storage site and how a small unarmed force of intruders easily enters under the security fence surrounding the site. The protective force subdues the intruders easily. In another scene, a well-armed terrorist team enters the base and kills a roving patrol with a well-placed sniper. Security forces finally overcome the terrorists after a superior counter-force arrives. On a third entry, a terrorist team enters the site under the cover of a fellow terrorist, hidden in the forest, armed with a heavy machine gun. This terrorist team reaches and penetrates a storage igloo after the roving patrol is killed, and the rapid response force is destroyed. However, the terrorists do not escape. When the superior security force appears with helicopter support and an armored personnel carrier, the terrorists, including the machine gunner, are killed. Since this film was made, the Department of Energy (DOE) has constantly improved the training and tactics of the security forces at each installation as well as the in-place security systems. With its modern day posture, it would be highly improbable that a small group of armed individuals could forcibly enter any DOE facility and escape with a nuclear weapon or any special nuclear
(1975) RARE FOOTAGE OF ANG F-102s BASED AT SUFFOLK AFB (DECOM) FLYING OVER LONG ISLAND
THIS VIDEO SHOWS NATIONAL GUARD 2nd FIS FLYING F102s OVER EASTERN LONG ISLAND THE FLIGHT SCENES ARE DUBBED WITH A HORRIBLE MUSIC SOUNDTRACK "HIGHWAY TO THE DANGER ZONE" SO I ADVISE THAT YOU MUTE THE SOUND WHILE WATCHING THIS LAST OF THE CENTURY FIGHTERS BEING FLOWN AS INTERCEPTORS AND NOT TARGETS FOR MISSILE TESTS, THE SUFFOLK AFB NOW GABRESKI AIRPORT WESTHAMPTON HOME NOW TO THE 106th AEROSPACE RESCUE AND RECOVERY WING WHO OCCUPY AND USE THE OLD ALERT HANGARS AND USAF INFRASTRUCTURE THAT THE STRATEGIC AIR COMMAND "ADC" LEFT BEHIND WHEN THE SUFFOLK COUNTY AIR BASE WAS DECOMMISSIONED, EVEN THEN A NATIONAL GUARD UNIT USING F-102s WAS BASED THERE FROM 1969 - PRESENT.RARE CAMOFLAUGE F102s *UPDATE THE F-102 THAT SAT OUT FRONT TO PAY RESPECT TO THOSE THAT SERVED THE COLD WAR MISSION AND FLEW JET AIR CRAFT LOADED WITH LIVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS WAS SCRAPPED AND CUT UP ON BASE BY A SCRAP YARD IN A TOTAL DOUCHE BAG MOVE! I DONT CARE HOW BAD OF SHAPE IT WAS IN IT COULD OF BEEN SAVED AND SHOULD OF.JUST BECAUSE THE MISSON NOW INVOLVES HELICOPTERS YOU DONT FORGET HISTORY AND TRY TO TAKE THE LIME LIGHT BY DROPPIN A HELICOPTER IN ITS SPOT, YOU DISRESPECTED THOSE THAT SERVED A WAR COLD IN NAME BUT WAS A DIRECT THREAT AGAINST THIS NATION AND THOSE WHO FLEW THOSE JETS DURING THOSE YEARS WOULD OF GAVE THEIR LIVES TO KEEP THE POPULATION OF THIS COUNTRY SAFE, IT MAKES ME SAD TO SEE SUCH DISRESPECT AND PERSONALLY YOU CAN STICK THAT HELO UP YOUR ASSES!
COLD WAR PROPAGANDA No.41 (1951) USAF CARTOON RECRUITING COMMERCIAL
THIS USAF COMMERCIAL FROM THE EARLY 1950s MOST LIKELY WAS THE REASON AMERICA WON THE COLD WAR AND BEAT THE SOVIETS IN TO SPACE THE JINGLE IN OF FLYING DAH DAH DAH WITH CARTOON JETS AND PEOPLE PROBABLY CAUGHT THE EYE OF MANY YOUNG KIDS WHO TEN YEARS LATER ENLISTED AND HELPED KEEP THIS COUNTRY FREE OF ANY COMMUNIST AGGRESSORS, WE NEED MORE GOOD WHOLESOME RECRUITING PITCHES LIKE THIS ONE!